SQL*Plus User's Guide and Reference
Release 9.0.1

Part Number A88827-02
Go To Documentation Library
Go To Product List
Book List
Go To Table Of Contents
Go To Index

Master Index


Go to previous page Go to next page


The SQL*Plus (pronounced "sequel plus") User's Guide and Reference introduces the SQL*Plus program and its uses. It also provides a detailed description of each SQL*Plus command.

This preface contains these topics:


SQL*Plus User's Guide and Reference is intended for business and technical end users and system administrators who perform the following tasks:

To use this document, you need a basic understanding of the SQL database language. If you do not have any familiarity with this database tool, you should refer to the Oracle9i SQL Reference. If you plan to use the PL/SQL database language in conjunction with SQL*Plus, refer to the PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference for information on using PL/SQL.


This document contains:

PART I, Understanding SQL*Plus

Contains SQL*Plus user guide and tutorial content.

Chapter 1, "Introduction"

An overview of SQL*Plus, with instructions on using this guide, and information on what you need to run SQL*Plus.

Chapter 2, "Learning SQL*Plus Basics"

Explains how to start SQL*Plus and enter and execute commands. You learn by following step-by-step examples using sample tables.

Chapter 3, "Manipulating Commands"

Contains further examples to help you learn to edit commands, save them for later use, and write interactive commands.

Chapter 4, "Formatting Query Results"

Uses examples to explain how you can format columns, clarify your reports with spacing and summary lines, define page dimensions and titles, store and print query results, and output query results to the web.

Chapter 5, "Database Administration"

Intended for use by Database Administrators (DBAs). It covers basic database administration features in SQL*Plus.

Chapter 6, "Accessing SQL Databases"

Explains how to connect to default and remote databases, and how to copy data between databases and between tables on the same database.

PART II, Reference

Contain SQL*Plus Command Reference and Appendixes.

Chapter 7, "Starting SQL*Plus and Getting Help"

Explains how to access SQL*Plus from the operating system prompt, and how to access online help.

Chapter 8, "Command Reference"

Provides a summary of SQL*Plus commands and detailed descriptions of each SQL*Plus command in alphabetical order.

Appendix A, "SQL*Plus Error Messages"

Lists messages generated by SQL*Plus, including COPY command error messages. It explains their causes, and appropriate actions for error recovery.

Appendix B, "Release 9.0.1 Enhancements"

Lists new features and enhancements for this release.

Appendix C, "SQL*Plus Limits"

Lists the maximum values for elements of SQL*Plus.

Appendix D, "SQL Command List"

Lists the major SQL commands and clauses.

Appendix E, "Security"

Explains how to restrict access to certain SQL*Plus and SQL commands.

Appendix F, "Obsolete SQL*Plus Commands"

Provides information on Obsolete SQL*Plus commands.


Defines technical terms associated with Oracle and SQL*Plus.

Related Documentation

For more information, see these Oracle resources:

Many of the examples in this book use the sample schemas of the seed database, which is installed by default when you install Oracle. Refer to Oracle9i Sample Schemas for information on how these schemas were created and how you can use them yourself.

In North America, printed documentation is available for sale in the Oracle Store at


Customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) can purchase documentation from


Other customers can contact their Oracle representative to purchase printed documentation.

To download free release notes, installation documentation, white papers, or other collateral, please visit the Oracle Technology Network (OTN). You must register online before using OTN; registration is free and can be done at


If you already have a username and password for OTN, then you can go directly to the documentation section of the OTN Web site at


Whitepapers, sample code, frequently asked questions and other useful information is regularly posted to the SQL*Plus section on OTN at



This section describes the conventions used in the text and code examples of this documentation set. It describes:

Conventions in Text

We use various conventions in text to help you more quickly identify special terms. The following table describes those conventions and provides examples of their use.

Convention  Meaning  Example 


Bold typeface indicates terms that are defined in the text or terms that appear in a glossary, or both. 

When you specify this clause, you create an index-organized table.  


Italic typeface indicates book titles or emphasis. 

Oracle9i Concepts

Ensure that the recovery catalog and target database do not reside on the same disk. 

UPPERCASE monospace (fixed-width font) 

Uppercase monospace typeface indicates elements supplied by the system. Such elements include parameters, privileges, datatypes, RMAN keywords, SQL keywords, SQL*Plus or utility commands, packages and methods, as well as system-supplied column names, database objects and structures, usernames, and roles. 

You can specify this clause only for a NUMBER column.

You can back up the database by using the BACKUP command.

Query the TABLE_NAME column in the USER_TABLES data dictionary view.


lowercase monospace (fixed-width font) 

Lowercase monospace typeface indicates executables, filenames, directory names, and sample user-supplied elements. Such elements include computer and database names, net service names, and connect identifiers, as well as user-supplied database objects and structures, column names, packages and classes, usernames and roles, program units, and parameter values.

Note: Some programmatic elements use a mixture of UPPERCASE and lowercase. Enter these elements as shown. 

Enter sqlplus to open SQL*Plus.

The password is specified in the orapwd file.

Back up the datafiles and control files in the /disk1/oracle/dbs directory.

The department_id, department_name, and location_id columns are in the hr.departments table.

Set the QUERY_REWRITE_ENABLED initialization parameter to true.

Connect as oe user.

The JRepUtil class implements these methods. 

lowercase monospace (fixed-width font) italic 

Lowercase monospace italic font represents placeholders or variables. 

You can specify the managed_clause.

Run old_release.SQL where old_release refers to the release you installed prior to upgrading. 

Conventions in Code Examples

Code examples illustrate SQL, PL/SQL, SQL*Plus, or other command-line statements. If users are expected to type them into the system, they are identified by the keyboard icon shown in the margin following. They are displayed in a monospace (fixed-width) font and separated from normal text as shown in this example:

Keyboard icon
SELECT username FROM dba_users WHERE username = 'MIGRATE';

Similarly, output from an example is identified by a computer screen icon in the margin as shown in the margin following.

Screen icon

Where both icons occur together, it implies interative entry and output.

Keyboard iconScreen icon

The following table describes typographic conventions used in code examples and provides examples of their use.

Convention  Meaning  Example 

[ ] 

Brackets enclose one or more optional items. Do not enter the brackets. 

DECIMAL (digits [ , precision ]) 

{ } 

Braces enclose two or more items, one of which is required. Do not enter the braces. 


A vertical bar represents a choice of two or more options within brackets or braces. Enter one of the options. Do not enter the vertical bar. 




Horizontal ellipsis points indicate either:

  • That we have omitted parts of the code that are not directly related to the example

  • That you can repeat a portion of the code


CREATE TABLE ... AS subquery;

SELECT col1, col2, ... , coln FROM employees; 



Vertical ellipsis points indicate that we have omitted several lines of code not directly related to the example. 


Other notation 

You must enter symbols other than brackets, braces, vertical bars, and ellipsis points as shown. 

acctbal NUMBER(11,2);

acct CONSTANT NUMBER(4) := 3; 


Italicized text indicates placeholders or variables for which you must supply particular values. 

CONNECT SYSTEM/system_password

DB_NAME = database_name 


Uppercase typeface indicates elements supplied by the system. We show these terms in uppercase in order to distinguish them from terms you define. Unless terms appear in brackets, enter them in the order and with the spelling shown. However, because these terms are not case sensitive, you can enter them in lowercase. 

SELECT last_name, employee_id FROM employees;


DROP TABLE hr.employees; 


Lowercase typeface indicates programmatic elements that you supply. For example, lowercase indicates names of tables, columns, or files.

Note: Some programmatic elements use a mixture of UPPERCASE and lowercase. Enter these elements as shown. 

SELECT last_name, employee_id FROM employees;

sqlplus hr/hr


Documentation Accessibility

Oracle's goal is to make our products, services, and supporting documentation accessible to the disabled community with good usability. To that end, our documentation includes features that make information available to users of assistive technology. This documentation is available in HTML format, and contains markup to facilitate access by the disabled community. Standards will continue to evolve over time, and Oracle is actively engaged with other market-leading technology vendors to address technical obstacles so that our documentation can be accessible to all of our customers. For additional information, visit the Oracle Accessibility Program Web site at


JAWS, a Windows screen reader, may not always correctly read the code examples in this document. The conventions for writing code require that closing braces should appear on an otherwise empty line; however, JAWS may not always read a line of text that consists solely of a bracket or brace.

Go to previous page Go to next page
Copyright © 1996-2001, Oracle Corporation.

All Rights Reserved.
Go To Documentation Library
Go To Product List
Book List
Go To Table Of Contents
Go To Index

Master Index